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May be bipolar?

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Old 10-16-11, 09:48 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I've just joined here because for years I've experienced periods where I seem to be relaxed but alert, good-humoured and up for about anything. During these periods I'm at my most creative, I get jobs done, I feel motivated like I could succeed in anything. I'm not 'manic' during these good times, just happy and energetic. I don't talk incessently or rush around.

Then, out of the blue, comes a crash which last indeterminate lengths of time. I'm in one of these dark periods now. I withdraw. I avoid social situations. I barely talk to anyone, I feel everything is pointless and I have no energy or motivation.

At some point, I'll wake feeling refreshed and back to my preferred mood, and I hope it'll last this time. It never does. Does this sound like bipolar disorder? My doctor won't take me seriously when I've discussed it with her. "We all get good and bad days". But I think it's more than that. The lows definitely affect my quality oflife. Does anyone else experience this?
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Old 10-16-11, 10:35 AM   #2
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I do relate to this, and I felt misunderstood at first too - that my mentionings of my mood being very instable and having unnormal 'ups' being ignored by my therapist. Hypomania is something that can in fact be a positive thing for the person - being more productive, feeling good about themselves etc. but the sometimes very fast changes in mood can be very hard to deal with. If you suspect being bipolar you should try talk to her about it and if that doesn't work ask for expert advice. After years of being unsure about my condition I finally got the diagnosis, which is both a relief and a bit of a burden - but most of all it will give you an opportunity to get the help you need.
Take care!

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Old 10-16-11, 12:33 PM   #3
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I wonder how much of the doctor's dismissiveness is down to his or her own dread of depressed patients, since we can't be that easy to treat? What I do know is these crashes are disabling to the point where I make excuses to avoid things, even parties or social gatherings I'd look forward to in my preferred state.

You're right, and I should ask to be referred I think. This has ruined my life long enough. How about treatment for the condition? What are your experiences with what's on offer?
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Old 10-16-11, 12:47 PM   #4
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Psychologists/doctors/therapists often handle a lot of depressed patients, I think it's harder to get proper care if you have any other undiagnosed issues.
Bipolar disease(if this really is the case for you) is a chronic disease but the symptoms can be eased with therapy, having regular eating/sleeping-times(having a good day rhythm is relly important) and also medications. When it comes to medications there are mood stabilizers(for manias and controlling mood-swings), anti-depressants and anti-psychotics(for psychotic episodes).

Before I got the diagnosis bipolar (unspecified) I was put on several AD's which did no good or made me feel worse. I was also part of a DBT (Dialectic Behavioral Therapy) group which was a really good experience, I recommend it. For a year now I've been on lamotrigine(lamictal) that's supposed to prevent the depressive episodes, which have helped but only slightly. Haven't got any further than that - besides, medication works differently on different people.
Good Luck!
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